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New research shows you don't have to be 40 to start worrying about the insidious eye disease, glaucoma, which causes one out of eight cases of blindness in the U.S. A study at Louisiana State university medical school on 125 medical students turned up one positive case of glaucoma and three strong suspects. The glaucoma victim was 21 years old. It has been medical dictum until recently that glaucoma attacks people about the age of 40-45 when the tissues of the eye begin to lose elasticity. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure of fluid within the eyeball, due to obstruction of the normal channel for its outflow. The pressure eventually destroys the optic nerve. The commonest form, "open angle" or chronic glaucoma, appears in 90 per cent of all cases of the disease. It is painless, and its ravages will produce blindness if the pressure inside the eyeball is not reduced. Doctors now have a number of drugs which effectively reduce this pressure. Chronic glaucoma cannot be cured, but its effect can be combatted by the regular use of special eye drops or pills. Study at LSU The study at LSU, believed to be the first of its kind, is being carried out under the direction of Dr. George M. Haik, professor and head of LSU's department of ophthalmology. Glaucoma is best detected by instruments which carefully measure the fluid pressure inside the eyeball. Dr. Haik and his fellow researchers use three different pressure-measuring instruments in their study, which is eventually intended to cover all of the 475 med students at the school. Working with Dr. Haik on the projects are Dr. George Ellis, associate professor of opthalmo-logy, and Drs. John Nowell and Hiliard Haik, instructors. Reasonably Accurate One of their instruments, small enough to go in a doctor's coat pocket, is the Schiotz tonometer—a handy and reasonably accurate device which has a slender plunger inside a cup placed against the eyeball. The plunger activates a needle on a dial to show variations in pressure. The reading must be converted to milligrams of mercury—as atmospheric pressure is measured by a barometer. Ophthalmologists have been working for a number of years now on making the conversion table for the readings as precisely accurate as possible. Reading on Paper Another device, related to the Schiotz tonometer, is an electric tonometer which operates in the same general fashion, but puts the reading on paper as does an electrocardiograph. The most precise measurement of intraocular pressure yet available is done by an "applanation tonometer"—which combines a slit-lamp microscope with a special appliance whose business end is a transclucent cone placed against the iris of the eye. The chief virtue of this instrument is that it gives a direct reading, in millimeters of mercury, of intraocular pressure. Uses AU 3 Dr. Haik and co-workers use all three of these devices, plus a few other checks, in studying his medical student subjects. Emotional stress, and other factors, he points out, can alter the reading of intraocular pressure and give a temporarily false picture of what is going on inside the eyeball. Tests repeated at intervals are one way of striking a happy medium which presents the true picture. "We- sometimes also do 'provocative' tests in which we have the subject drink a quart of water in five minutes or sit in the dark for an hour or two," the specialist explained. Build Up Fluid Such measures temporarily build up fluid pressure inside the eyeball. A reading is then taken to determine whether a normal outflow of fluid has reduced the pressure. The electronic Tonometer gives a graph reading of pressure over a four-minute period, which is considered sufficient time for an outflow of tear-fluid—if the channel is not obstructed. "We know enough about chronic glaucoma now so that one never need lose his sight on account of the disease," says Dr. Haik. The victim, who in many cases has inherited a structural abnormality inside the eye, PHOTO: READY TO TEST the pressure inside the eyeball, an indicator of whether the eye disease blaucoma is present, this team at Louisiana State university medical school includes, from left, DR. JOHN NOWELL, DR. HIL-LIARD HAIK, DR. GEORGE ELLIS and MRS. MERWIN CLARK, secretary in LSU's department of ophthalmology department.
|Title||Study reveals glaucoma threat|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Kelso, Robert N.
Nowell, John, Dr.
Haik, George M., Dr.
Ellis, George, Dr.
Clark, Merwin, Mrs.
Department of Ophthalmology
|Call Number||1961 p135-136|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ http://www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
|Rights||Use is restricted to IP address of LSUHSC - New Orleans|
|Object File Name||index.cpd|